today’s par 5’s are a joke. they are literally par 4’s. most people are hitting driver and a short/mid iron into these par 5’s. Would a simple solution be to make these par 5’s into par 4’s and just make the course a par 68.
I agree with you jdp. It is a brainwashing, companies make players think that they have gotten that much better to reach the par 5s in 2. This article can be misleading in the same way, “the average handicap of all golfers has decreased almost two strokes in the last 15 years, from 16.5 in 1994 to 14.6 in 2008. The drop for women was even greater at 2.5 strokes. These figures also coincide with the greatest explosion in technology that golf has witnessed.”
Players read this and believe it, and they are correct to by numbers. But the numbers are not accurately presented. With the new technology each player is playing one to two tees ahead of where they played with persimmon and balata because of the distance changes. Mens tees they use to hit 7 into a green, now it is 9 or wedge. If they wanted to hit 9 or wedge with persimmon and balata they would have played the senior tees. Essentially they are playing the up tees to where they use to but still get the benefit of a lower handicap due to the mens tees course rating and slope. The course ratings and slopes of courses have not adjusted accurately for the distance increase. When handicaps are adjusted correctly I think handicaps have gone up 2 strokes or more.
I agree, most of the tour courses are par 68 or 69. When I see that the winning score was 16 under, that means even par or maybe only 4 under. I quickly in my head subtract 16 from how many under they are advertising was shot. This is the only way to give me any kind of historical reference.
A par 5 is not only a length cut off or issue… but more importantly it should be based upon the green’s design, shape and size, and also how tight the fairway is. If the hole is super tight off the tee, and the green is front protected by sand or water and small in size, it can be a par 5 at 480. There are a lot of classic great tracks with such holes on them. Risk reward.
The modern trend is to cut away most or even all the trees on a golf course. I suppose since golf course construction has screeched to a halt, the architects are promoting historic redesigns… looking at aerial photos from the 1920’s and pointing out to the board of directors that their course originally had no trees and that to properly restore the course these trees must be removed! SHOCKING BUT TRUE!
What they seem to overlook is that these courses PLANTED TREES! with the intent of HAVING TREES! Back then they didn’t fly in 1000 trees with helicopters like Steve Wynn did at the golf course formerly known as The Desert Inn.
Links courses in Scotland… no trees… and that is fine. Most American courses… lots of trees. It’s a different game which adds to the diversity. In the middle east they had sand and oil greens that putted decently. Tennis plays on clay, grass, concrete… different skill sets. STOP HOMOGENIZING GOLF!!
It’s ok to have super tight shorter courses… and longer tighter courses, and long wide open courses. It’s OK to have some greens slow, some medium and some fast and some pool tables. Hard fairways… soft fairways etc. Courses with water and courses with no water. Some sand, lots of sand or both or none.
I thoroughly enjoy playing horrific conditioned courses like Lincoln Park in SF. The greens there are like bad tee boxes at most courses. The fairways are often un mowed for a week… and if it rains… it can get really dreadful out there. Then you have the wind whipping through the Golden Gate highlands. But while most everyone cries about it… I shot 63 out there last year. How? hit 17 greens, a few kick ins… birdied two 225 yard par threes with a 2 wood and 1 iron approach. Hit it inside 10 feet a whole bunch of times. I didn’t make every putt but I more than lucked in a few that day. If you keep hitting it close… you will make a few putts… and sometimes the law of averages sways into your favor for a short bit. It’s ok. Take it.
Golf was never meant to guarantee that every putt is going in with a perfect stroke. It’s ok for there to be some luck out there. Good luck, bad luck. Rub of the green or a gift from the Golf Gods. It’s ok to play your best round ever. It’s ok to play your worst round ever. That’s what makes for some great conversation while knocking down a pint in the card room or grill.
Take your golf serious, and play hard against the course, the pin placements, the conditions of the course and weather, and the architect who laid out the holes years ago. The harder you compete, the more rewarding it is when you exceed your expectations.
One great thing about this game is you can go out there alone and have a hell of a match against old man par.
Here the course from championship tees is 7,000, 74.2 rating and 142 slope.
Mens 6,500, 72.0 rating and 136 slope
Senior 6,000, 70.1 rating and 128 slope
Layout plays 6 to 8 strokes harder with persimmon and balata. Old scorecards have slope and rating about the same, within half a stroke and slope is the same way. Example is 10 modern handicap with new equipment being 10% longer for amateurs compared to a 10 handicap with persimmon and balata as the base. This base used because it is the real rating and slope above since they have not changed in 30 years. As a note the equipment is around 15% to 20% longer for pros, the equipment is designed for them and sold to amateurs.
The modern 10 handicap is playing a 6,300 yard course, taking 10% off the actual distance adjusting for the modern equipment. That is between the mens and senior tees, would make rating 71 and slope 132. There is 2 to 3 strokes to add to the 10. This adjustment is not accurate until you adjust for the carry of the ball, those rating were made when you could not carry the trouble except for the longest hitters. Everybody carries everything now that they could not, there are 10 bunkers I have to go around with persimmon and balata that I hit it over with metal and proV. Then I have a 140 yard wedge modern vs 180 yard 4 or 5 iron while still at the same rating and slope. Add the water you have to go over or the bunker or the correct level of the green, with the wegde its not a thought and 4 iron have to deal with it.
Being conservative a 10 handicap would be 4 to 6 strokes higher. For the course to accurately play as it use to for a modern 10 it would have to be 7,700 yards, 10% increase. There are players here that can play to 10 from the championship tees now, they would not break 100 from 7,700 yards. The approaches would be 50 to 100 yards longer, corners could not be cut on doglegs, bunkers could not be carried.
Some may disagree but I am not arguing an opinion, this is fact.
“A scratch golfer, in this use, is defined by the USGA as a male golfer who hits his drive 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two; or a female golfer who hits her drive 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two (and, of course, plays to scratch).”
“A bogey golfer, in this use, is defined by the USGA as a male golfer with a handicap index of 17.5 to 22.4, who hits his drives 200 yards and can reach a 370-yard hole in two; and a female golfer with a handicap index of 21.5 to 26.4, who hits her drives 150 yards and can reach a 280-yard hole in two.”
“for example, on a 400-yard hole, the rating team goes 200 yards down the fairway to analyze the landing area for a bogey golfer; and 250 yards down the fairway to analyze the landing area for a scratch golfer. What obstacles were encountered along the way? What is the state of the fairway at each spot for each golfer - narrow or wide, hazards close by or no hazards? What angle is left to the green? What obstacles still await - water, sand, trees? How far is the approach shot from the scratch golfer’s landing area and from the bogey golfer’s landing area? And so on”
Not a surprise what organization runs the rating and slope, a bit outdated. I know one scratch golfer that hits it 250 yards, he is 63.
Thanks for posting…
It’s refreshing that many of us can see through the smoke and mirrors.
Re Education can be a painful process, but a necessary one in the bigger picture if one has any kind of hope for
this great game to retain some historical perspective, respect and or significance.